Bent out of shape
The Frenchman must have been chopping down trees during training to have his chance and put a lot on his shoulders.
He was the City player who found plenty of space in the first half, but his passes never again lived up to the standards he set at Monaco or in his early days with the Blues.
Aguero – who led the streak even though he was clearly not shooting in every way, Jesus kept his stunning goal in return from matches they played together, and Aguero might be perfectly fit who has honed that squad.
But the players wear 4-3-3 like a cozy coat, and with major matches approaching, Guardiola should probably have confidence in the form that has made them so far.
Remember that this round of 23 victories in 24 matches arose due to the decision to return to Fundamental Principles. This was a perversion of it – a goal they ultimately won with a set piece goal and two defensive fouls.
Raz and shine
Raheem Sterling was not awarded a “spin” or “rest” sign to save face – he was excluded from the team for tactical reasons.
It sounds like a wake-up call for the England player as the season approaches the point where trophy winning begins.
If Mindy becomes a real choice again – and there are few signs he will – the pound will be under pressure, just as Leroy Sane did.
Five goals in his last 13 games for the Stones are a fantastic comeback as a central defender, and a huge bonus for his resurrection as England’s best defender.
What’s even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t score headers from set pieces – his goals tend to be Aguero-esque quality, take smart poses and finish with ruthless confidence.
They were all important goals too – starting against United in the League Cup semi-finals, against Crystal Palace and Fulham, plus a win against West Ham.
The Garcia puzzle
Pep Guardiola says he views Eric Garcia like a son, but seems to be over-indulging the player who turned down a contract and said he wants to leave at the end of the season.
Unless Garcia changes his mind, given Barcelona’s troubles, giving him match minutes seems like a waste, when there are more worthy loyal players.